by Robin Webber
[Tikhon, Patriarch of Russia, Confessor, and Ecumenist, 1925]
Jeremiah 22:13-23 Psalms 69, 73 Romans 8:12-27 John 6:41-51
How often does a familiar Bible passage resonate with your reality? How often do these ancient words hit home and make you realize the wisdom of the message, helping make clear what God intends for you to be?
On our pilgrimage to the Holy Land last fall, we met fellow Christians whose ancestors have dwelled in Israel and Palestine for centuries. It was the spiritual energy revealed in the churches and religious compounds that was so inspiring. Their faith was a wellspring for the soul. We heard them express their beliefs as Christians in a conflicted land. And over and over the same message came through: “We will be the light,” “We are the light,” “Light has to be in the heart,” “The hope and light that comes from living with Christ-like intentions” – – and a prayer, “God, give me the wisdom to show your love.”
And so in that part of the world, amidst their struggles and challenges, they keep the words of Jesus Christ in their hearts. And my heart was opened with their faith and love.
You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under a bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your father in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14-16)